Williamsburg Winery, Lord Botetourt Red, Virginia 2010
51% Petit Verdot, 20% Merlot, 16% Cab Franc, 13% Cab Sauv. Quite a nice nose of fresh blackberry, a whiff of cassis, sweet red plum, a hint of violets, sweet herbs and cedar, and tarry mineral, all with dark, rich, savory quality. Same notes on the palate. Full bodied, savory and a bit tarry, this is quite nice, similar to Bordeaux but with a touch of New World lushness. This is a very good effort. This could develop some nice mature notes over the next 5 years or so. A good value as well. 2.5 Stars [9/1/13]
Leone de Castris, Villa Santera, Primitivo di Manduria 2009
Cherry, black raspberry, blueberry, raisin, a hint of flowers, tobacco leaf, brown spices, all with hints of citrus and tomato. Big and lush, with the warmth of its alcohol showing through a bit, giving this a remarkably porty character, but with a vein of acidity providing balance. This is delicious stuff, and is actually food friendly as well. 3.5 Stars[8/24/13]
Valle Reale, Vigneto Vigne Nuove, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2011
Nice, fresh nose of orchard fruit and flowers. On the palate, blackberry, tart tangerine, and tart apple, but with creamy pear, a note of apricot toward the finish, a hint of herbs, and smokey mineral. Full bodied and palate penetrating upfront, then somewhat lighter after. This is remarkably complex and characterful. 3 Stars [9/7/13]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)